Mara Digital Mall, largely considered to be the brainchild of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri in 2015, is now in dire straits after vendors complained of massive losses for the past seven years.
They also told Free Malaysia Today that the mall is also lifeless and mostly deserted.
Lack of promotion
A trader named Hairul Nizad told FMT that his business had declined by 60% due to the pandemic and lack of awareness of the mall’s existence.
If there used to be 10 customers a day, we only receive one a day, that’s the average. I think that the mall lacks promotion. People still don’t know where Mara Digital is, they only remember Pertama Complex is Mara Digital.
He suggested that the management put up an LED billboard outside the building so that people would notice the mall.
Read more: [VIDEO] Siblings Reunite Child Who Got Lost At IOI City Mall With Mother
He also hoped that Ismail would take heed of the vendors’ grouses and compel government agencies to intervene as this was his project during his tenure as rural development minister.
Tough financial times
Another trader, Bob Nurdin, told the English daily that not only was Mara Digital Mall suffering from low sales, but neighbouring malls as well.
“It’s not only here that sales are falling, it’s the same at other premises such as Low Yat Plaza and Pertama Complex.
“Due to the economic downturn, sometimes they don’t even manage to get any profit as their sales are only enough to cover their rent. We can make some profit here because the rent is cheap,” he said.
Rental fees at Mara Digital Mall range between RM2,000 and RM3,000 while it is 10 times higher at Low Yat Plaza.
Management to blame?
As for Fauzan Hanafi, he believes that the continued decline of the mall was due to poor promotion by the former management.
However, he is relived to see the current Mara management being serious “in attracting big Bumiputera companies”.
“Hopefully, our business will recover and things will be lively again. That is our big hope,” he added.
It’s unrelated to the article but here’s our brand-new podcast – Talk Je Lah!
Cover Images via Mara Digital Mall